A went to Ruby East a little over a week ago with Patrick. We heard several good talks about Ruby and Rails and thought the conference was well-worth the money we spent to attend it. The most valuable presentation for me really wasn’t a presentation at all; it was a demonstration.
Giles Bowkett didn’t put us through an hour of slides. Instead, he spent the time walking us through and demonstrating his .irbrc–his Rails debugging tool set. For those unfamiliar with or new to Rails, Rails has an interactive Ruby shell console called script/console where you can execute arbitrary lines of Ruby code to debug Rails applications. Each time the console is launched, initial settings and functions are defined by one’s .irbrc. His contained many useful tools and hacks, the details of which I will leave to the reader to discover. I just wanted to publish something referencing it since it is so good.
(You can read Giles’s thoughts on his own talk too.)